Each month we take the opportunity to sit down with some wonderful women and ask them questions on life, fashion, their careers and what inspires them. A moment to listen and learn, over an aperitif, and an occasional boujee fry...
This month we had the pleasure of catching up with the multi-talented Charlie Jackson of Charlie Rose Creative – photographer, creative & all-round joyful human – just don’t ask her to draw you something!
We ate: Too busy chatting to eat!
We drank: Black Estate Pinot Noir & Hot chocolate
Prepping for this interview with Charlie came with all the usual elements, a great collection of questions, research into her current projects and deciding on where’s good to meet but it also threw up some major consideration when outfit planning…we are meeting Charlie, we want to wear something colourful! And that’s what we think about when we think of ‘Sparkly Charlie’ – her wonderful, colourful vibe and we are here for that.
Let's go back to April 2021 for a moment...this is the first time we met Charlie, in her studio, as we collectively envisioned the first ever brand shoot for Arc & Artemis. We walked in with our old school mood boards, a collage of cut out magazine pages, slightly nervous and unsure of how to begin...Charlie got 'us' straight away and was full of energy and genuine excitement for what we were wanting to achieve, and the results showed that...a collection of joyful, beautiful images that encapsulated the brand and energy.
Today, we meet in the restaurant at Eliza’s Manor, recently re-opened and now managed by the fabulous team behind Miro’s restaurant. Us, in our #notnew yellow checked Trelise Cooper dress (Freya) and velvety teal bomber jacket adorned with patches of sequins & colour (Laura-Jean), Charlie arrives in a fabulous mohair cardi in purples and pink matched with a sunglasses chain fashioned into a mask holder – genius. After a quick tour of the beautifully refurbed venue, we find our seats, catch up on everything, order some drinks and settle in…
A&A: You have a very distinct sense of personal style – when we first met you it was lavender on lavender on lavender – we LOVE! Where does this style come from and what influences your fashion?
Growing up, I was a very eccentric child with what I wanted to wear, there was always lots of colour– shock horror! I remember there was this purple velvet skirt that I was obsessed with, and I would always really like the pretty fun things…my mum was very supportive and just let me go with my style. Then in my mid to late teens I suddenly became conscious that what I was wearing looked quite different to what others - friends, peers - were wearing. I thought I stood out too much and so went through a stage where I toned my style right back.
I lived in South Africa from the age of two until seven years old and I think this time had a really big influence on me style wise. In South Africa, everyone dresses up, so I would always want to be well dressed - you wouldn’t dare wear your pyjamas to the supermarket – ha! When we moved back to NZ I noticed that people here are much more casual.
I have relaxed my style over the years and my job, and mood, definitely influence my outfits. I wear a lot of sneakers - I am obsessed with sneakers (thank God for Afterpay!) - I’m on my feet a lot during the day & they are so comfy, and pants, so practical for my job. I am trying to introduce more dresses to my wardrobe but pants are what you need when you’re constantly up ladders, or bending down or changing rolls etc. I am a very grounded, logical person but I love colour…so having colourful sneakers & pants, I feel it keeps it all fun whilst allowing me to get around and do my job well.
A&A: What is your favourite piece of clothing and what is the story behind it?
I need time to think about that…hmmm…
Well, I’m obsessed with my lilac blazer…it’s multiple sizes too big for me but I just loved the colour, and then oversized blazers became a thing!! I throw it on models all the time when I am shooting as it photographs really well. I got it from an op-shop. I love op-shopping and would say 60% of my wardrobe is made up of second-hand clothing.
A&A: In a line-up of photographer’s work - how would we know a Charlie Rose shot? -Tell us about your Signature Style.
It would be the brightest of them all! Bold colours tend to have quite a bold energy about them too…reflects me! A cohesive brand – haha!
A&A: We know you’re a multi-talented woman, tell us about your journey to become a photographer – why this art form and business?
I was going to be a dancer. Ballet. But in my teens, I had a foot injury, and no-one knew what was wrong or how to fix it, so I had to stop dancing. I feel like I had a trauma around it actually and it’s taken years to be able to talk about it openly.
So, I had to change focus. I felt comfortable in the arts and design department however, full disclosure…I can’t draw to save myself! But I have a Fine Arts degree!! Haha!
I decided to major in photography. I had always enjoyed imagery and decided to go down the photography route, rather than design, I like the process and enjoyed it more. The summer after finishing my degree, I was very fortunate to get an assistant job in a large commercial studio, prepping garments to be photographed. I wasn’t trained in commercial photography so had a quick learning curve, I got to see how a studio really works and operates and have some on the job training. It was really cool to be in the room and see that there was actually a real career in photography, but I also realised that this wasn’t the environment I wanted to be in, so I took on a freelance job working for a Christchurch based magazine and my business and career really grew from there.
A&A: When you shoot there are literally hundreds of images, how do you evaluate a photo and choose ‘just the right one’?
I do it very quickly and intuitively. I really do credit my fine arts degree for that skill. It was so focused on building your own practise and critical thinking, so it makes you really good at assessing an image, taking in all the elements, and evaluating it. I have managed to harness this skill in the commercial sense and refine it so I can quickly scan images and determine which are the best ones. It is always a much slower process if the client is next to me whilst I am doing it, they will see something that looks great to them, but my eye & intuition is trained to focus in on the perfect photo…it’s a skill I'm always refining.
A&A: What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started taking photos?
One thing?! One?! I could write a book about all the things!
One of the key things was being able to identify what I like doing and who I am as a photographer, and then articulating that to people. Understanding who I am as a creative and being able to best communicate this to clients and brands…I wish I could have learnt that earlier. However, I now know that I love to work with businesses, brands, and products. I like helping businesses get the right image that will help them get where they want to go. Really understanding how the business works and how the photography will help them achieve their goals is really important for me and the process. I know the job has been done well when they actually use the images!
A&A: What moment in your career are you most proud of?
Oohh ahhh. There are different moments…having my own studio feels special. Having a space that is mine and welcoming people into it is such a privilege.
I have also recently done some hero imagery for my old school. We created a suite of images that reflect not only the environment but the essence of the students and their world. That feels so big for me as I am now in a position to take photos for the place that shaped who I am today. Being able to tell my mum made her really proud too.
A&A: What keeps you inspired as an artist?
Such a big question! I am not always inspired. It is important to acknowledge that we are not always ‘on’. I am not always ‘Sparkly Charlie’.
I always remember one of my Fine Art lecturers drilling in to us…” whatever you do, whatever is going on, you get up and you go to work!” I always think I better get on with it, otherwise Glen will call me and check I am not still in bed!!
I find conversations with people really inspiring, when you have a similar love for things and energy, it really helps me keep on track and keep my mind assessing etc
A&A: ‘Who’ or ‘what’ would you love to photograph the most?
I really don’t know…I don’t know.
I love people.
You know I feel like it’s a real privilege that people trust me enough to take their picture. Each job is so different, I don’t think that there is one ‘ultimate’ photoshoot. I take something from all of them.
A&A: So, what would be your dream job?!
Dream job? Helping brands with their brand identity, their voice, where they aspire to be and then helping them get there…do it all!
Full disclosure…I won’t solely be a photographer in ten years’ time…
A&A: Where can we expect to see Charlie Rose’s shots in 2022?
Everywhere! Hopefully through the brands that I have worked with!
Right now, I am working on finding a new work life balance. I am focusing on the bigger projects, quality not quantity, so I can do the best job for the brand and for me. I don’t want to ever compromise on the quality of what I am putting out there.
For bookings & enquiries: email@example.com